One of the most intriguing characters in the entire BJJ universe has to be Keenan Cornelius. He is one of the most innovative and creative grapplers out there. He is a real pleasure to watch in competition and is one of the rare grapplers that are just as good in both Gi and No-gi Jiu-Jitsu. However, if there’s one thing Keenan is really known for it is his lapel guards. He is the person behind some of the craziest lapel systems in Jiu-Jitsu, along with the even crazier names he gives them. Now, he organizes all his knowledge into one all-encompassing resource – His “Lapel Encyclopedia” instructional. And we have an in-depth Keenan Cornelius DVD review of it ready for you.
If you’re interested in buying Keenan Cornelius’ Lapel Encyclopedia DVD/DIGITAL instructional you can find it HERE.
Whether or not you are a fan of lapel guards, you have to admit that they are efficient. Actually, if you train BJJ seriously, you’re in one of two categories. You’re either obsessed with lapel guards and annoy everyone in your academy and in tournaments with them. The polar opposite is that you can’t stand lapel guards but you’re facing them all the time, so you need to figure out how to pass them. Regardless of which category you subscribe to, you need the “Lapel Encyclopedia” has it all, and the source is the creator himself. Check out our Keenan Cornelius DVD review to see what you can expect from this crazy Gi BJJ instructional!
A One-Of-A-Kind Grappler
Keenan Cornelius is a Hawaiian grappler that is a black belt under Andre Galvao. He is one of the most recognizable grapplers of our time, as well as one of the best heavyweights of all times. Keenan is a multiple-time European, Pans and No-Gi World Champion. He is also one of the best guard players in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Keenan has been training since the age of 14. He switched academies pretty often, having trained with Carlos Valente, BJ Penn, Cassio Werneck and ultimately, Lloyd Irvin. Cornelius left Lloyd as a brown belt, opting for Galvao’s Atos, where he eventually earned his black belt.
Atos was actually Keenan’s main JIu-JItsu laboratory. He always had a very distinctive style, given his lanky build. However, instead of looking at stuff that works for him, Keenan it works for him. He is one of the greatest innovators in Jiu-Jitsu, particularly when it comes to Gi BJJ. Given that guard is his strongest position Keenan did a lot f experimenting. The results are nothing short of astonishing. He discovered different ways of using the lapels to set up variations on common guards. He then tested his stuff on the biggest JIu-JItsu stages around the world with great success.
Just recently, Keenan came into the spotlight by leaving the Atos time after years of training there. A reported bust-up with founder Andre Galvao was most likely the reason behind it. As a result, Keenan fought under the BJJ Globetrotters banner at the 2019 Mundials. Now, he is back in the spotlight with an instructional that has all fo his guard systems explained! It took some time to get this Keenan Cornelius DVD review down, given that the “Lapel Encyclopedia” ahs a total of 9 parts, but now it is finally here!
The Lapel Encyclopedia Keenan Cornelius DVD Review
I remember the first time I encountered the worm guard. I think I was a blue or purple belt at the time, and a fresh blue belt did it on me. Suffice to say I couldn’t pass no matter what I did. While I took consolation in the fact I didn’t get swept, my leg was dead after the ordeal, as a result of the lapel cutting off my circulation. From that moment on, I took notice of the worm guard and all other lapel guards by Keenan. During the years, he has managed to develop several, although no one got the attention of the BJJ public as much as the worm guard.
So far, Keenan has a total of 5 different lapel guard variation. All have wacky names the likes of the ringworm guard, the squid guard, etc. The one thing they have in common is that they all use lapels to varying degrees in order to be effective. The main point of Keenan’s lapel guards is to take guard retention out of the equation. If you wrap your opponent up tightly, you won’t have to worry about retention or guard recovery. This leaves you free to attack at will.
The “Lapel Encyclopedia” is an instructional that everyone that does Gi BJJ needs to own. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Keenan or lapel guards. If you’re to have any hope of dealing with these guards, you need to understand how they work. Unless you can prevent people from obtaining them, you won’t have much luck with passing them. And the best way to do that is by learning the guards. As you’ll see from our Keenan Cornelius DVD review, this is truly an Encyclopedia, containing literally all information Keenan has on all of the guard variations.
Chapter 1 – Opening Concepts
First of all, let’s get something clear. The “Lapel Encyclopedia” is a 9 part system that covers a very complicated guard strategy. This Keenan Cornelius DVD review is going to move through each DVD in the order Keenan provided. Unless you do the same, you won’t be able to achieve any success with it. The opening volume covers an introduction to the system. Keenan is one of the best Jiu=-Jitsu professors out there, which is why this instructional is the only one that can clear up lapel guard for you once and for all.
Chapter one, whether digital or in a DVD format, starts by covering the entire course content. Here, Keenan does an overview of the system, before moving on to explain gripping strategies and how lapel control works. Cornelius uses a very systematic approach to things, taking it one step at the time. After grips and lapel control, foot positioning is next. Here, you’ll learn what to do and what no to do when placing your foot inside lasso guards. The final portion of this first part covers intricate strategies of reaching the lapel from literally anywhere.
Chapter 2 – Guard Strategies
The second portion of the instructional picks off where the first one ended. Here, the focus is on the es3ential skills of the open guard game. One of the main entry points to high control lapel guards is the spider guard. This is exactly where Keenan starts in this chapter. The first few chapters start with foot placement, and how to use your legs to off-balance opponents format he spider guard. A few transitions int other guards follow, including the X guard, crab ride, single leg X, 50/50 and more.
One of Keenan’s brand new lapel guards, the squid guard makes a brief apprentice here as well. The extremely cool calf slicer setup from the spider guard using a foot under of balance is instantly going to become your favorite. A couple of sections covering the belt guard and belt grips concludes part 2 of this Keenan Cornelius DVD review.
Chapter 3 – Guard Recovery
As unlikely as it is that you’ll need to recover any of the lapel guards, there’s a whole section of recovery in the “Lapel Encyclopedia”. The reason for this is that the guards themselves are quite complex. Until you really get the hang of them, you’ll make mistakes, and Keenan offers multiple solutions in this chapter.
The basic motions he uses are the overhead leg swing and the under leg swing. Both of them are key to recovering the spider guard, or any lapel guard for that matter. Moreover, there’s a hugely impressive section in here on how to use lapels to build frames. This is a concept that is original not just to Keenan, but this instructional in particular.
What I really loved about this third part of the Keenan Cornelius DVD review is the focus on common mistakes. Cornelius goes over all the common errors like wrong foot placements, for example. He also offers great ways of dealing with strong guard passers particularly those that like the Torreando pass. The overhook and underhooks wrench, and the highly entertaining baby hooks concept complete this portion of the DVD. Well almost, as there’s also the section on escaping form a fully stacked position.
Chapter 4 – The Worm Guard
Finally, we’re getting to the core of this Keenan Cornelius DVD review. Part 4 is where things really start to happen. Here, Keenan covers the first of his 5 lapel guards, which is also his most famous one – the worm guard.
The chapter starts with some original style entries, starting basic and branching towards guards like the single leg X and Leg Lasso. Some key concepts of the guard itself get a lot of attention here. What you can expect to learn are the control points of the guard, as well as the secret to balance. Keenan also covers some weaknesses, so that you’re never caught unprepared. As expected sweeps follow suit, beginning with the “Very First Worm Guard Sweep Ever”. From there on, Keenan covers “emergency exits” from the worm guard, as well as some crazy back, takes you to need to see to believe.
The final portion covers spinning stuff, shin to shin guard and a great section on dealing with spazzers and people who do flips and cartwheels.
Chapter 5 – The Ringworm Guard
To be honest, I give this one the award for the best-named lapel guard out of the bunch. It is definitely something I’ve never seen before. It is also something that works, as unusual as it may seem. The ringworm guard is actually an upgrade on the worm guard. However, as Kennan himself;f says, it is not a worm guard, but a guard of its own.
The ringworm guard offers a few more sweeping options than the regular worm guard. Thos include elevation sweeps, knee stamp sweeps, De La X sweeps, etc. However, there are also a bunch of submissions available from here as well. The double under lapel wrench and Judo choke are perfect examples. A lapel triangle is also there to provide further options. As usual, the best is saved for last, with the Polish Worm Rider and associated sweeps concluding this part of the ‘Lapel Encyclopedia”.
This chapter was definitely one of the most entertaining parts of this Keenan Cornelius DVD review!
Chapter 6 – Reverse De La Worm Guard
Yeah, there’s more worm guard action yet in this “Lapel Encyclopedia” Keenan Cornelius DVD review! Similarly to the ringworm guard, the reverse De la Worm stems from the worm guard. As you can conclude it is a mix of the Worm and reverse De La Riva guards. While they’re both highly effective guards on their own, pairing them up makes them an insanely effective weapon.
The chapter follows the usual progression, starting with setups and continuing towards control and attacks. Back takes, armbars and some crazy sweeps like the Wormnado are in the spotlight here. There’s also some key information on using far nad near side lapels.
Chapter 7 – The Squid Guard
The squid guard is one of the latest guards to come out of Keenan’s workshop. Once again, this is a highly effective guard that very few people expect or know how to solve. As we’ve seen multiple times in this Keenan Cornelius DVD review, the chapter starts with an introduction. This guard actually requires a lengthier one, as there are many details to it. Still once that’s out of the way, attacking actually becomes simple.
The ankle pick is one move that’s extremely easy to get from the squid guard. Speaking of takedowns, there’s also a great entry to a double leg as well. An Inversion sweep from different angles provides advanced options of getting the top position. Some moves that are somewhat easier to execute are a squid guard Omoplata and the reverse lasso sweep.
Chapter 8 – The Gubber Guard
The Gubber guard is definitely one of the craziest things you’ll see in Jiu-Jitsu. To be honest, the first time I saw it was during this Keenan Cornelius DVD review. As such, I had no idea what to do with the information. The reason this guard is at the tail end of the “Lapel Encyclopedia” is that you need all the previous lkap[el guard knowledge to pull it off. Once you get it though, boy is it effective!
Across 8 different sections, Keanna breaks down what has to e his best lapel guard to date. This highly attacking guard that has some similarities to the rubber guard. Form the Gubber guard, submissions are far more numerous than sweeps. If you like to play a submission heavy game, this is the perfect guard form you. Some of the things you can set up from here are the Wormoplata, triangle, Monoplata, Canto choke, etc. Just for good measure, there’s a coo flower sweep variation at the end of this chapter too.
Chapter 9 – Submissions
The reason submissions didn’t feature very much throughout the previous chapters of the instructional is that Keenan has them all in one place. The final chapter covers the different and very creative ways in which you can tap people from the 5 lapel guards. Of course, the action starts with a Cornelius special in the form of the Wormhat choke. Lasso hook entries to the Omoplatta follow along with an awesome triangle setup. What I particularly enjoyed was the Baratoplata setup, which is different from what I’m used to. It is way more effective, though. Finally, an overhook armbar wraps up the submissions part and the “Lapel Encyclopedia” DVD in general.
Okay, maybe there’s more of this Keenan Cornelius DVD than I originally led you to believe. BY purchasing the “Lapel Encyclopedia”, you also get further options. For example, there’s lots of bonus material on Keenan’s website you can get to, which updates regularly. Furthermore, there’s an app covering the Worm guard that’s also a highly useful tool. Finally, Keenan also includes deleted scenes and some bloopers from shooting the instructional.
You don’t have to like Keenan, or lapel guards to know that the “Lapel Encyclopedia” instructional is a real must-have. As far as playing guard in the Gi goes, nothing can beat Keenan’s systems. Moreover. I really hope that’ he’ll also start working on some crazy No-GI stuff. After all, he is competing again at this year’s ADCC in two months time!
If you’re interested in buying Keenan’s Lapel Encyclopedia DVD/ONDEMAND instructional you can find it HERE.